Modding the Half-Life 2 Scanners

13th August 2005


One of the areas that I feel has been neglected in Single Player modding is Usable Items. I want modders to create new and interesting items to use specifically within Single Player games. It sounds great in theory but unfortunately it is a lot harder to do in practice. The main problem lies in creating something that continues and complements the existing weaponry and other concepts without making the game too easy.

Modders have generally followed three distinct paths:
1. Create an item that solves a perceived problem. Example: Flash light in Doom 3.
2. Adapt an existing weapon. Example: Increasing the firing rate of the shotgun in Doom 3.
3. Copy an existing weapon concept from another game. Example: Half-Life 2 Gravity gun for Doom 3.

So, I have an idea that I would like you, especially if you are a modder, to consider. It is basically an specific realisation of my Remote Helicopter idea.


Put simply this mod would allow players to capture one of the Combine’s Scanners and use it for your own surveillance purposes. I can’t say I have considered in detail exactly how it would work and I’m sure you would need to try a few different ideas, here I’m just proposing the concept.

A certain level of life left by the scanner would trigger the capture. Normally the scanner would explode when its life drops below 10 points (A guess) but with this mod it would simply fall to the ground. You then approach the scanner, assuming you can reach it, and press the use key. I see a couple of options now:

1. Your view now changes to that of the scanner camera and you fly the object to where you want information.
2. Your view changes to a radar-type image and you can take photographs that can be viewed clearly later.

With both options the scanner’s life is very low and as such can easily be shot down by the Combine, who somehow know that you are controlling the scanner.


There’s the possibility that this mod could make the game too easy, so not every scanner should be able to be captured. Perhaps this would work best in a fully-fledged mod where the balance of the enemies has been considered. It might even be fun to have a few battles with other scanners!

On the same subject of adapting items from Half-Life 2 I wish somebody would make a mod where GF can use the Manhacks against the Combine.

If you have any ideas for SP mods regarding items or weapons then please feel free to post them here. Be as detailed as possible about the features and benefits and why it would fit whatever game you suggest it for.

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